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Surveying and Mapping

Thomas Michael Besch Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Surveying and Mapping

The Thomas Michael Besch Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Surveying and Mapping was established in January 2016 (and revised in December 2016) by one of the first graduates of the Bachelor of Science Surveying and Mapping (BSSM) program, created by Professor Emeritus Thomas Michael Besch, P.S., M.S., at The University of Akron in the mid-1990s.

Besch was born in Tallassee, Ala., and honorably served his country in both war and peacetime with the United States Army for 28 years, conducting mapping, charting, and geodesy operations around the world. Besch’s military career included service with the U.S. Army Topographic Battalion and joint assignments with the Defense Mapping Agency and School as a master instructor. His experiences ranged from surveying in the jungles of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Conflict to surveying the sands of Desert Storm. A wounded combat veteran who was dedicated to duty, honor, and country, Besch retired with the distinguished, highly decorated rank of Chief Warrant Officer, having served as a geodetic and topographic surveyor and a terrain analyst.

Upon Besch’s arrival at The University of Akron and his transition into civilian life during the early 1990s, he single-handedly transformed UA’s two-year surveying and mapping program into a four-year degree program – the only one in the state – which continues to be known for its outstanding land surveying graduates.

Besch, who also served the University as program director of surveying, mapping, and GIS technology until shortly before his death on November 30, 2016, was a highly respected educator, survey historian, sought-after land surveyor, and expert witness. Under his tutelage, UA’s BSSM program has become nationally recognized for its excellence, producing more than 200 land surveyors who hold bachelor’s degrees and more than 400 who hold associate degrees. Besch also has served on the local, state, and national level for various professional societies and land surveying organizations and was known among his peers as “The World Famous Surveyor.”

CANDIDATE REQUIREMENTS

The Thomas Michael Besch Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Surveying and Mapping was established to support full-time University of Akron students who have been honorably discharged from the United States of American Armed Services Personnel (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) or who hold active- or reserve-duty status with the National Guard or any other reserve components of federal military service for the United States. Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be enrolled in the surveying and mapping program in UA’s College of Applied Science and Technology (formerly Summit College). Preference will be given to combat or disabled veterans. Recipients of The Thomas Michael Besch Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Surveying and Mapping shall be selected by the department chair for Engineering and Science Technologies in conjunction with the Office of Student Financial Aid.


Complete one of the following applications to apply for this scholarship:

Or visit UA's Office of Student Financial Aid page for more information on how to apply for a scholarship.